Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) blasted President Donald Trump for his racist tendencies in Wednesday night’s Democratic 2020 debate, calling him a “white nationalist.”

“We can no longer allow a white nationalist to be in the White House,” Inslee said to applause after being asked about his plan for immigration reform. “We have to make America what it’s always been: a place of refuge,” he added. Joe Biden was among the candidates onstage who applauded Inslee’s remarks.


Inslee went on to say he was one of the first state governors to accept Syrian refugees and noted that he repeatedly stood up to the Trump administration’s ban on people from Muslim-majority countries. 

“I’m proud to have sued him 21 times and beat him 21 times in a row. I’m ready for November 2020,” Inslee added.

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Inslee’s comment about Trump follows another bold remark he made at the end of the first-round debates in June, when he called the president “the biggest security threat” facing the country.

This week, the Baltimore Sun became one of the latest entities to lambaste Trump for his racist rhetoric after he criticized Baltimore’s living conditions and infrastructure in a series of tweets. The newspaper attacked Trump, among other things, for his praising of neo-Nazis and other white supremacists as “very fine people” following the violent alt-right riots in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017. 

Trump also drew severe backlash last month after a Twitter rant in which he told four Democratic freshman Congresswomen of color to “go back” to their countries of origin.

Among the reasons Washington has sued the Trump administration are rules that reduce federal family planning funds for abortion providers.

Inslee has made climate change a central issue of his 2020 presidential campaign.